Monday, August 22, 2011

Decision Fatigue: the implications of too busy brain

Waldirene Biernath

Source: Google image
The pressure of the important and constant decision making wears us down and deteriorates our ability to make good choices.  We lose our willpower, which is another way of saying that we lose the motivation to do our tasks (activities).  Yes, we are paying price for the abundant choice in our world. 

Source: Google image
There’s a new kind of fatigue. Decision fatigue. It is the newest discovery involving a phenomenon called ego depletion, a term coined by the social psychologist Roy F. Baumeister in homage to a Freudian hypothesis. Freud speculated that the self, or ego, depended on mental activities involving the transfer of energy. It routinely warps the judgment of everyone, executive and nonexecutive, rich and poor. Yet few people are even aware of it, and researchers are only beginning to understand why it happens and how to counteract it.

Decision fatigue helps to explain why ordinarily sensible people get angry at colleagues and families, splurge on clothes and buy junk food at the supermarket. No matter how rational and high-minded you try to be, you can’t make decision after decision without paying a biological price. It’s different from ordinary physical fatigue — you’re not consciously aware of being tired —you’re low on mental energy.
But don’t be afraid! According to the psychologists, if you suffer from decision fatigue, you can fight (or combat) it, there are many ways to change and improve your life’s style, for example, to regulate your biological rhythm, have good eating habits, sleep well, include exercise in your day-to-day, as well as breathing exercises. Above all, you must be positive! An important piece of advice is: you need to simplify your life and and learn to delegate some small things to others, doing that you’ll have more energy and enthusiasm for the big things.

See more:

(to) wear down (verb):  exhaust or tire through overuse or great strain or stress;
warps (noun):  a moral or mental distortion;
(to) counteract (verb): to reduce the negative effect of something by doing something that has an opposite effect;
(to) splurge (verb): to spend a lot of money, especially on something special as a way of making yourself feel good.

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